We have listed a number of additional resources but we recognise that these are certainly not exhaustive. We also recognise that the range of support and specialist services that are available to survivors of domestic violence and abuse will vary considerably across regions and countries.

Please take time to explore the services that are available to you both locally and nationally.

Help and support

If you are accessing this resource from outside of the UK you will need to explore what services are available to you at a regional or national level.

Domestic abuse helplines




Northern Ireland:

Title/link Description
Website: Home Office UK Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse (2013) Guidance supplied by the Home Office (United Kingdom), on Domestic Violence and Abuse.
Website: National Institute of Care Excellence (2014) National Institute of Care Excellence (2014) Domestic Violence and Abuse: how health services, social care and the organisations they work with can respond effectively.
Website: Women's Aid Integrated Services Nottingham A free, confidential and independent charity working with women and their children who have been affected by domestic abuse.
Website: Women's Aid Forum - England This Survivors’ Forum is a safe, anonymous, space for women (over 18) who have been affected by domestic abuse to share their experiences and support one another.
Website: World Health Organisation Gender Based Violence A World Health Organisation website which looks at a global plan of action to strengthen role of health systems in addressing interpersonal violence, in particular against women and girls, and against children.
Website: Men's advice line Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

Unlocking Stories - Personal Print Summary

Notes on the workshop development

Individual Poems

5 objects were laid out in a row on the table:

  • A Stone
  • A Candle
  • A Key
  • A Tissue
  • A Ball of String

The women were invited to individually choose an object.
They were then asked to answer the following questions and were asked to answer AS the object:

    What are you?
    How do you feel?
    How do you compare to the other objects?
    What do the other objects think about you?
    What are you scared of?
    What would you dream about?
    Where were you before you were here?
    How do you feel now you are here?
    What are you scared of?
    What will be your Epitaph?

Group Poems

The women were asked to think about Survivorship.
The following questions were asked:

    What is Survivorship?
    When you think about Survivorship, how do you feel?
    When you think about Survivorship, what do you hear?
    When you think about Survivorship, what do you see?
    Think about a Survivor. What does she look like?
    What does she say?

The women worked in two groups but they wrote down their answers individually. After answering each question they tore off the answer, folded it up and placed it in the middle of the table. Each group ended up with a pile of folded up answers all mixed up. One by one they pulled an answer out and read it out. These were written down in the order they were read out. A group poem was thus created. The women were invited to edit their work and then share the finished poem with the other group.

Clay Models

The women were asked to think about survivorship and use the clay to create a representation of what Surviving means to them. The invitation was left deliberately open allowing the women to work without rules or any feeling of expectation.

A relaxed non-judgemental approach enabled a high level of engagement with the activities. Contributions were each given value without anyone feeling they had something more or less important to contribute. Showing an understanding that all their experiences were different and ensuring that the women knew that all contributions were valued equally was extremely important.

Dawn Bowden


Dr Julie McGarry1, Dawn Bowden2, Mike Taylor1, Dr Richard Windle1, Lorna Manger3, Dr.Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith1, Kully Kaur3, Charley Baker1 and Lis Hilton1.

    1 University of Nottingham, School of Health Sciences, UK
    2 Independent Drama Practitioner
    3 Women's Aid Integrated Services, Nottingham, UK

The project was funded by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The audio of survivors speaking in this resource has been disguised to help preserve their anonymity.